Friday, August 19, 2011


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: polite

What does it mean to be polite?

Do you think people are becoming more or less polite?

Is there ever a danger in being too polite - and what would that mean?

Let me know what you think!!

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. I think that society as a whole has begun to mistake being "polite" for being "politically-correct" in the same way that we have mistaken "disagreeing" with "being offensive".

    That being said, I also believe that our treatment of other people is becoming one of the greatest shortcomings of the modern church. For some reason, there are times when believers feel justified being rude, harsh, or otherwise impolite. But we cannot forget that GOD IS LOVE and LOVE IS NOT RUDE! So while we are always permitted to speak the truth, and to disagree with our neighbors, we can never allow that disagreement to cause us to lose track of our consideration, our compassion, our patience, and our love. If we are walking in those things, then POLITE should come naturally!

  2. A hot topic on most days around here.

    I think the world is becoming less and less polite and civil. In fact, I would characterize our culture as a very impolite culture. To me, politeness stems first and foremost from an AWARENESS that someone else is sharing the space with you. Too often, that's where the problem begins. Folks are so self-consumed that they don't even acknowledge the presence of others. Acknowledgement is a start, but it's not enough.
    They also need to be CONSIDERED. A heart of deference prevails in polite society, IMO.

    I also think there's a difference between lip manners and true politeness, too. While lip service is a part of it, it surely is not the whole. I live in the south, and no group of individuals PRIDES ITSELF more on their "manners" than southerners.

    It's true fellow southerners; don't try to deny it. (We're a humble bunch, too. Grin.) Children are taught to say "ma'am" and "sir", and for SO MANY families that's where it stops. It appalls me.

    A child can walk into a room, show absolutely NO respect for common rules of civility like sitting quietly, offering their seat to someone less able, looking adults in the face and responding to their conversation, etc. Parents will sit right there and not give a word of redirection. By by gum, let Mama hear her child say "Yes" instead of "Yes, Ma'am"?

    Out comes the rod of correction, complete with the self- satisfied smile. 'Cause we "raise 'em right" here in the south, don't ya know...

    Oh, there's so much more.

    Being on time, for example, is a matter of politeness. Saying (and meaning) "Thank You" is another. I have a half written post about that one thing in fact. Maybe I'll finish it rather than take up more space here.

    Following the rules is a matter of politeness. I've got a half written post on THAT one, too.

    There's SO MUCH more I could say, but I'll toss the ball to someone else now.

    Do I think you can be TOO polite? Um... started a post on that too. I told you, it's a hot topic with me. I think when you acquiesce to the point of being a pushover, you have gone too far. That's definitely where I err.

    Also: Funny you should ask about the comment form. I was going to email you this morning about that.

  3. It is the end of civilization as we know it in our societal world today. I return to the classroom this week - the students the next - and then commences 10 months of uncivil and impolite manners in need of correction - but boundaries of political correctness (as noted above) will tie my hands from requiring too much of anything from an ill mannered child. Then, you meet the parent/care-taker - and you understand the end product. A mission-field to be sure - and I pray the Lord gives me wisdom. Rods of correction are passe these days in some circles.

    So, I relish the virtual teatimes on Tuesdays where I might get the chance to participate in the old fashioned genteel arts. I've pampered some young 30-somethings with an afternoon tea. Bless them - they are out of their scope and completely at odds as to how to behave. How will they know to teach their young ones.

    Debbie is right - a hot button today, Sharon. We are all opinionated on this one - and I would suspect - not a politically correct one in the bunch.

    Look forward to your finished posts on the subject, Deb - thanks for starting the discussion, Sharon!


  4. A lot to think about today, Sharon. Yes, we have
    come to a place in our society when people of all
    ages no longer feel the need to be polite or even
    kind. It's a sad reminder of the great need of
    more of the living God in our world. People feel
    justified in being smug and indifferent. I sort
    of expect this from the world but not from those
    who call themselves followers of Jesus.
    Been missing you while I was away! Wedding photos
    are up!

  5. I am not sure if it's a lack of being polite or more SELF CENTEREDNESS that we deal with day to day.

  6. I think the world is becoming less polite - I hate to say it, but you asked.

    Even if you have to say no - you can be polite about it,

    I give that lecture a lot!

  7. Blessings Sharon... I need to be short and sweet. Just being polite and letting you know that... my internet connection has been in and then suddenly out (including TV, same company) and I have no water out of faucets for 2 days.

    So for me;
    polite = common courtesy
    Since I left teaching in the USA,
    people being polite has become LESS and less;
    and on being "too polite" (without having taken the time and connection to read what others said before me) well, I hesitate to say that you can never be too polite... whereas you can be too rude... or maybe that's crude. Well, to me society has gotten to be both. Nowadays, being too polite, you can get walked all over and rejected for being too stiff or fake. But as long as you are not being condescending or unauthentic in your politeness, then I think we need more people being truly polite and one can always say whatever needs to be said with tact and even kindness... even when saying no or something negative, it's all in the word choice and manner in which it is spoken.

    Hope I have connection so I can read the rest.
    Thanks for your very meaningful feedback and input on WAITING on GOD! Still waiting and praying... much love and God's grace,

  8. I think polite has to do with seasoning our words/actions with grace and concern for others. I think in today's me,me,me fast pace world, we as a society are becoming less polite.

  9. Hi Sharon:

    I certainly believe the world is becoming less polite and as the first commenter said, it is becoming a problem in some churches. Interestingly, my post for today is on kindness and I compared two people - one who was kind; the other a church member who was one of the rudest people I've known. Sad.

  10. I think people are less polite. Certainly they are less polite than they were when I was young. Of course that was a long time ago. I agree that being polite has been replaced by being politically correct which I think is a very bad thing.
    Thank you for sharing this thought provoking question.

  11. I always love it when one of my "Fan the Flame Friday" words hits the right spot. I had a feeling that this might spark some conversation!

    I'd have to agree with everything that's been said. I especially think that our world is becoming less polite - in the respect that we don't have common decency or gallantry or chivalry - just downright good manners anymore.

    And yet, in this "politically correct" time, we bend over backwards not to offend anyone. In this sense, we are WAY too polite.

    I think we've all forgotten the Golden Rule - funny how God knows what's best, huh?!

    Treat others as we would like to be treated. Well, I want to be treated with respect and good manners - but I also want people to be honest with me, in a tactful and loving way.

    Don't be rude, but don't let me get away with murder either, so to speak!

    Thanks for stopping - this was a fun and lively conversation!



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)